In this scene, I am stymied by my inability to have what I consider a "regular" conversation with a Winterville person. Let me know what you think!
Diva visited at the holidays for a few days before jetting off to see her family. This was awesome for us, as we could spend time shopping, lounging at the pool, and doing all the stuff people can do in Winterville (such as eating while listening to the din of laughter from the red hat ladies at Mimi’s Cafe).
We went a local bar one night and I happened to run into someone with whom I thought I was decently acquainted through volunteer work. We had never socialized, but I thought we had a decent rapport.
I spotted her and waved. She smiled back, so I walked up to her. She and a group of her friends sat around a large, rectangular table on the patio of the bar. Upright heaters and neon signs lit the area. Our conversation went like this:
"Hey, (name), how are you doing?"
"Great! How are you?"
"Oh, I'm doing pretty well," I answered.
There was an awkward pause while she didn't introduce me to the man she was with, whom I could only assume was her longtime squeeze. I tried to pick up the conversation.
"Are you still at (place of employment)?"
"Yep, going good."
"Great! What's new?"
"Oh, I'm headed out to a vacation at (fabulous location)."
"Wow, that sounds great. I went there once and it was awesome."
And then there was another pause. Do they teach how to avoid conversations with non-locals after they finish teaching Creationism in Winterville schools? I wondered. Am I crazy? Are people everywhere incapable of conversation, or is it just places like Winterville?
"So, do you still see (people we know in common)?" I asked, hoping to start a new thread of conversation.
"Yeah, they're around."
"OK, well, tell them hi from me."
"OK, I will."
There was another pause. I was tired at this point. I saw Diva returning from the ladies room and decided there was no need to introduce her to this woman.
"Well, it was great seeing you. Have a good night!" Then, I headed off to a spot we’d staked out at the bar, where I met Diva and a few people who were home for the holidays from other cities and states.
One guy at the bar told Diva about his scuba diving exploits. I listened and smiled at his stories while Diva asked questions and more questions. The evening ended late and happily, and the weekend ended too soon on Monday morning, when I took her to pick up her rental car and then headed off to work.